About The Kaʻū Calendar

Sunday, May 05, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs May 5, 2024

Black Sand Beach, LLC's plan for Punalu'u, with residences, accommodations, a Wellness Center, tennis, golf, retail and some of the old infrastructure restored. Image from Black Sand Beach, LLC

TESTIMONIES AND TESTIMONIALS REGARDING DEVELOPMENT AT PUNALUʻU are being provided to the media and the Windward Planning Commission ahead of Monday's public hearing, 9 a.m. in County Council Chambers in Hilo, with live YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAFoRMb3rfWLQMPd6TAkEGA?view_as=subscriber. Testimonies sent in ahead of the hearing can be read at https://records.hawaiicounty.gov/WebLink/Browse.aspx?dbid=1&startid=130300&row=1&cr=1. The majority of the testimonies, including those submitted in recent weeks, are in opposition to the development.
    Leiahiʻena Kaʻawa, a student at Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences, sent this testimony to The Kaʻū Calendar after participating in Saturday's protest on Hwy 11:
    "Aloha, my name is Leiahiʻena Kaʻawa. I live in the ahupuaʻa of Pālauhulu, in the moku of Kaʻū. I am writing this testimony in strong opposition to the proposed Development plan at Punaluʻu put forth by Black Sand Beach LLC.
   "I am a lineal descendant of the lands of Punaluʻu, Nīnole and Wailau, Land Commission Award #8760 and Land Commission Award #7313. I am asking of you all today to please take into consideration the future of both Kaʻū and the people of Kaʻū. The importance of keeping Punaluʻu untouched by mass development is because Punaluʻu is home to native, endemic and endangered plants and animals, ancient and traditional places of worship and ceremony, ancestral burials, fresh water springs, brackish water pools, and because Punaluʻu has provided the people of Kaʻū an abundance of food and resources to feed the multitudes of generations it has.

Leiahiʻena Kaʻawa

    "The untouched and undeveloped state of Punaluʻu would allow us to keep these practices alive. This is the way the kanaka ʻōiwi in Kaʻū have learned to live, to live with the intention of reciprocation as one with the land, with the awareness that the health of the land reflects the health of her people.
    "Our Ka‘ū community’s long standing goal is to protect our beloved and untouched 80 mile coast to perpetuate our rural lifestyle and Hawaiian culture. My ʻohana and I are here to oppose the potential gentrification and harm that this 343 acre resort would bring to Kaʻūʻs untouched coastlines and waterways. I speak today in hopes of finding a more sustainable and practical avenue of land management to the fragile environment that Punaluʻu is.
    "I speak today in hopes of raising my future children in the conditions of a healthy environment in the same kept and untouched areas of Kaʻū, just as I have been raised. Iʻd like to end my testimony with the ʻōlelo noʻeau #1932; “Kuʻu ēwe, kuʻu piko, kuʻu iwi, kuʻu koko.” Meaning “My umbilical cord, my navel, my bones, my blood.” This is who Punaluʻu is to me."
    "I strongly recommend an EIS."
    On May 2, Irene Eklund, of Discovery Harbour, sent testimony favoring the Black Sand Beach, LLC plan to Windward Planning Commission, saying:
    "I am writing in support of the Black Sand Beach LLC, Punalu'u project. The entire area needs help. This is a small project that offers so much to the area, without over populating. It is the perfect size project for that area. This is a phased project so there will be much needed construction jobs that are good paying jobs for the younger set. It's important to remember that over the past four years, the project has listened to the community and is working to nurture, steward and manage these lands in a manner that reflects the visiton of the community. They have reached out to ask what the community needs, unklike others before them. That area needs protection before it is too late and this developer has stepped up and is willint to do that.

    "Establishing a shoreline Conservation Management Area to ensure preservation for future generations and creating a community-led and community-driven Foundation to manage and steward the conservation areas and wahi pana (sacred sites). We can work together on a project that benefits all i Ka'u. It has been hard as that vocal ones that have spent much time trying to stop the rest of us from s peaking and want to Keep Ka'u, Ka'u have made it very difficult. Progress does. not stand still..."
   On May 2, Ka'u Community Development Plan Action Committee member Babette Morrow sent in her personal testimony to the Windward Planning Commission. It says,
    "I hope you will consider all of the community input that was gathered during the seven years of meeting for the Kaʻū Community Development Plan. Hundreds of Kaʻū residents attended the many Steering Committee meetings to give their input on the future of our area.
    "Page 97 of the Kaʻū CDP states, "A large number of CDP objectives and strategies intersect at Punalu'u, which has a rich ecological, historical, and cultural legacy and is dear to the hearts of most residents to this day. This section includes references to each of the policies, actions, advocacy initiatives and community-based collaborative actions that pertain to Punalu'u. Community Action 27 outlines a community driven, collaborative process for planing the future of Punalu'u."
    "It is my hope that the Planning Commission can take into account all of the land use policies and community actions found in the CDP during their consideration of the SMA. Of particular benefit would be the formation of a collaborative process to bring all the community factions together to hep plan for the future of this site."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com
7,500 copies the mail and on stands.

Camdon Higbee, of Kaʻū High & Pahala Elementary, won the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Poetry contest for Hawai'i Island on Saturday. To his left is Governor's Representative  Amy Miwa and Mayor Mitch Roth. To his right are Ka'u High honorees Kamalea Davis and Krystal Eder and Peace Project founder Melinda Gohn. Photo by Tina Eder

NINTH GRADER CAMDON HIGBEE WON THE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. PEACE POETRY AWARD for Hawai'i Island. On Saturday. Kaʻū High social studies teacher David Santos who mentored the students for their entry into the competition, was named Peace Poetry teacher of the year for the island. 
     Santos, Principal Sharon Beck and Vice Principal Jason Britt joined the students at the awards ceremony at University of Hawai'i-Hilo. Mayor Mitch Roth presented the honors.
    Golden Circle first place certificates for Peace Poetry from Kaʻū went to ninth graders Kamalea Davis, Krystal K. Eder, Camdon C. Higbee and tenth grader Aubrey-Ann K. Delos Santos-Graig. Second place winners from Ka'u are ninth graders Jessica Lyn Velasco, Emil A Soriano and Zia-Rae K. Wroblewski. Also taking second was tenth grader Josiah Makoa L. Justo-Rosenbloom. 
    The Peace Poetry program started in 1996 as the International Peace Project on Maui with a six year old poet Libby Barker writing: Everyone's Heart's is like Everyone's and I Hope We Can all find Peace in this World. In 2000, the project, led by Melinda Gohn, reached out into schools throughout Hawai'i, calling for poetry honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. It grew to become an international event involving schools throughout the world.
     Here is the winning poem for Hawai'i Island:
The Realm of Dream
by Camdon Higbee
Ka'u High & Pahala Elementary

In the realm of dreams where hope takes flight
There stood a man, a beacon of light.
With unwavering resolve, he took his stand,
A champion of justice, in a divided land.

Martin Luther King, a name etched in gold.
A tireliess warrior, courageous and bold.
His work thick, a testament to his might,
A relentless pursuit of what is right.

From the pulpit he preached, his voice so clear.
A symphony of truth, for all to hear.
With eloquence and passion, he spoke of love,
A vision of unity, sent from above.

In the face of adversity, he stood tall,
Defying hatred, he answered the call.
Through tough marches and protests, he led the way
Demanding equality day after day.

His life, a testament to his unwavering cause
A legacy of justice without any pause
He fought for hte oppressed, the marginalized,
   With unwavering conviction, he harmonized.

Advocating for the change, he faced many trials,
Bur his spirit remained unbroken, his resolve never defiled.
He believed in a future, where all would be free,
Where the content of character would be a decree.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com
7,500 copies the mail and on stands.

Isaiah (Hano) Manila Louis qualified for Big Island Interscholastic finals on Friday for 300m hurdles and is going to States for long jump with a distance of 20'2.25. Photo from Coach Tolu Rasmussen

Kalia Grace qualified for BIIF finals on Friday for 400m
 with a time of 1:03.96. Photo from Coach Tolu Rasmussen

PRAISE FOR KAʻŪ HIGH'S TRACK team came from Coach Tolu Rasmussen this weekend. He shared some season highlights:
    Isaiah (Hano) Manila Louis qualified for Big Island Interscholastic finals on Friday for 300m hurdles and heads to States for long jump with a distance of 20'2.25.
    Kalia Grace qualified for BIIF finals on Friday for 400m with a time of 1:03.96.
    Tristan Rasmusssen took second in the 1500m in the recent Freshman/Sophomore championship with a time of 4:44.40 and qualified for the BIIF finals.
    Senior Stephen Adler took his senior walk at BIIF trials Friday at Kealakehe HIgh School. He will attend Grand Canyon University this Fall to pursue a degree in computer science. He competed in the long jump, 100, 200m, 400m races and and 4X100 and 
Kaʻū High's track team. Photo from Coach Tolu Rasmussen

4XD400 relays.
    BIIF Track & Field Finals Were held at Kealakehe High School in Kona on Saturday. The islandwide team titles went to Hilo High Girlst and Kealakehe Boys.